The winners and losers of the Detroit auto show

on Jan17
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Members of the media look at General Motors 2020 Cadillac XT6 SUV after it was revealed on the eve of press days of the North American International Auto show in Detroit, Michigan, January 13, 2019.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Members of the media look at General Motors 2020 Cadillac XT6 SUV after it was revealed on the eve of press days of the North American International Auto show in Detroit, Michigan, January 13, 2019.

Cadillac was caught with its pants down when the crossover craze took over. The brand invested heavily in creating a portfolio of sports sedans with class-leading dynamics, but consumers wanted SUVs. Cadillac only offered the Escalade and the XT5, while Mercedes offers seven separate SUV body styles from the boxy G-Class to the fastback GLC Coupe.

To fix that, Cadillac has launched the XT4 and XT6. The XT4 came out last year to decent reviews and solid sales, while the XT6 bowed at Detroit. It’s a good product to have, but it seems like too little too late.

Underneath, it’s basically a GMC Acadia. It has the same 3.6-liter V6 that’s done propulsion duty in countless GM cars and it doesn’t offer Super Cruise, the company’s class-leading driver assistance technology. Steve Carlisle, in the press conference, referenced GM’s goal of creating a future with zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion.

A great goal, to be sure, but we don’t understand how a middling six-passenger SUV without an electrified powertrain option or the company’s flagship driver assistance technology gets them closer to that.



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